Spotlight: NPC Spacemind – advanced technology and expert solutions for the space industry


This article is a profile of NPC Spacemind, a participant in the satsearch membership program, and was developed in collaboration with the company.

In today’s post we meet NPC Spacemind, an Italian space services and equipment manufacturer providing advanced solutions for nanosatellites and tracking mounts for professional observatories.

Spacemind logo

The history of Spacemind

Spacemind was set up in 2013 and operates as the aerospace division of New Production Concept S.r.l. (NPC).

Building on more than 10 years’ experience in assembling complex automatic machines and developing cutting-edge solutions for the space industry, Spacemind aims to offer a complete package of services for nanosatellite manufacturers and operators.

The company is also building on other areas of dedicated experience at the forefront of the industry by providing products and services for professional observatories in the field of astronomy, SSA/SST and laser ranging.

From product design, through mission development support, to the creation of innovative technical solutions for emerging space applications, Spacemind is well-placed to support a range of businesses in the sector, for both today and tomorrow.

Spacemind’s core products and services

Spacemind manufactures a range of precision-engineered space components and sub-systems designed to support nanosatellite manufacturers and operators develop more efficient and reliable technology. The core portfolio consists of:

SM CubeSat structures – high-reliability CubeSat structures to suit a range of CubeSat unit sizes. The structures are designed for flexibility and to maximise performance in terms of available space, volume and mass. The individual products are:

Building on the success of this portfolio Spacemind is also launching a 12U structure very soon to cope with even larger and more demanding satellites and applications.

Spacemind 12U CubeSat structure
NPC Spacemind’s 12U CubeSat structure.

The MORAL M1000 – Suitable for demanding observation applications in astronomical and defence scenarios, the MORAL M1000 is an advanced mount for 1m class telescopes. High levels of precision and controllability are ensured with the up to 60°/s slew rate combined with 1” of pointing accuracy. The system can operate effectively with payloads of up to 1,000 kg and with a maximum aperture of 1.3 metres.

The ARTICA de-orbiting system – the Aerodynamic Reentry Technology In Cubesat Application (ARTICA) system is a standalone de-orbiting drag sail designed to help mitigate the growing problem of space debris.

The system is designed to be plug-and-play for the user, resulting in a small module of just 0.15 U and capable of autonomously deploying a sail of around 2 square metres.

Spacemind ARTICA de-orbiting system
The ARTICA de-orbiting drag sail system.

Alongside this growing portfolio of high-reliability equipment, Spacemind also offers a range of services to space industry companies and stakeholders such as:

Spacemind’s significant milestones

We spoke with Niccolò Bellini, Space Business Developer and Space Systems Engineer at Spacemind, about the company’s major achievements. He explained that;

“Together with the University of Rome we designed and developed the 1U Cubesat 1KUNS that was launched in April 2018.”

“In the same month we were also among the first companies able to track the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 in the important phases immediately prior to re-entry in the atmosphere.”

“We used our telescope mount MORAL M1000 and obtained footage featuring 6 minutes of continuous tracking that has been used to find out the light curves of the station, and was reported all over national newspapers and television programmes in Italy.”

Spacemind MORAL M1000
The MORAL M1000 high-precision telescope mount.

In addition to these projects Spacemind is also gaining significant traction developing the business side of operations. As Niccolò explains:

“More commercially speaking we have supported multiple universities in their nanosatellite missions, providing hardware as well as design and consultancy services. In particular, all the nanosatellite structures currently proposed on satsearch have been provided to at least one user.”

Partnering with satsearch

We asked Niccolò what attracted his business to list the company on satsearch and join our Membership Program:

“The possibility to receive commercial assistance and visibility on a democratic and fair platform.”

“We hope to acquire more customers and cooperate with multiple users thanks to satsearch’s support and intermediation. This will also allow us to increase our product and service portfolio.”

Spacemind solar cells

Looking to the future

To help our community stay on top of the industry, and to delve deeper into what is driving our member companies, we ask representatives what they believe are the most important emerging trends in the industry. As Niccolò explains:

“One of the trends we are focusing on is related to nanosatellite constellations.”

“Our company structure is very skilled in the assembly and procurement of complex electromechanical machines at high volumes and with high regimes of throughput, and we have a really wide supply network that allows us to satisfy large and demanding procurement requirements across multiple batches.”

“Satellite constellations are a sector in which we can be really competitive, combining the cutting-edge aerospace skills of Spacemind with the strong industrial and manufacturing approach of our parent company NPC.”

Spacemind CubeSat structures
Spacemind’s suite of advanced CubeSat Structures.

“Our approach applies to both nanosatellite sub-systems and ground equipment. In particular, we also have a strong focus on the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) sector and we are able to provide enabling solutions to raise the level of both scientific research and defence applications.”

“We think that constellation developments and the industrial mass production of nanosatellites will be key trends in the near future.”

In the coming weeks and months we’ll be taking a closer look at Spacemind’s commercial offering, as well as sharing more information about other news at the company. For more details please view Spacemind’s page on the satsearch platform.

Finally, if you would like to find out more about the Satsearch Membership Program, and discover how your business can benefit from the support we are offering to companies like Spacemind, please click on this link.

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